A carpet fitter has been jailed for more than three years after admitting to a catalogue of sexual offences – including possessing “extreme” images of animals and children.
Robert Salisbury, 40, pleaded guilty to possessing hundreds of disgusting child abuse images, and sharing more than 2,000 other vile movies and photographs of children.
Nottingham Crown Court heard how Salisbury, who owns a carpet and flooring business, used his own broadband, as well as that of his neighbours, family and clients, to access the indecent images.
His actions led to one innocent man being arrested and interviewed on suspicion of the offences.
Indecent images of children are categorised into one of three groups – A, B or C. Category A images involving penetrative sexual activity, sexual activity with an animal, or sadism. Category B images involving non-penetrative sexual activity, and category C covers any indecent images not falling within categories A or B.
The court heard how Salisbury had filed the content according to the child’s age which were as young as 10.
The pervert, of Firs Avenue, Hulland Ward, admitted possessing 175 extreme pornographic images of animals and taking indecent photographs of a child.
He later pleaded to possessing 36 category A images, 25 category B images, and five category C images, as well as one count of distributing indecent images and another of voyeurism against a woman.
Prosecutor Victoria Rose said: “Police officers were alerted to the fact that indecent images had been accessed at the home address of the defendant. Other addresses believed to have been involved were later linked to the defendant.”
Miss Rose told the court how Salisbury used the internet connections at the homes of his friend, and that of his former mother-in-law to access the illicit content.
She added: “Three folders which had been shared were found to contain 2,030 images. When his computer was analysed, officers found evidence that the defendant was aware of the encryption of computers and being able to hide his activities online.
“Clearly the defendant was very familiar with what to install to hide his activities.”
Sentencing Salisbury, Recorder Steven Evans said: “You used the broadband connections of a number of your neighbours and friends – a couple who you have fitted carpet for you used their broadband to access indecent images of children and as a result, the gentleman concerned was arrested, put in a cell and interviewed. He has had to suffer the embarrassment and humiliation of that – he is a victim of your offending.
“You have used the dark web deliberately to access and distribute these images covertly, you used friends, family and neighbours’ (internet connections) to protect yourself from being discovered.”
Recorder Evans branded Salisbury’s production of indecent images of children a “worrying step towards physical abuse.”
He told Salisbury: “There are some people who think that in viewing indecent images of children it is somehow harmless. The children in the images were abused by other people for your gratification. Young children were sexually abused and exploited – it is impossible to measure the harm that was done to them.
“If there was no market for it, those children would not by abused. Sadly, there are thousands of children out there being abused so that people like you can look at them. You told police that you have no sexual preference for children, but that is blatantly untrue.”
Salisbury was sentenced to a total of 40 months in prison, was told he would forfeit his equipment, and has been placed under a sexual harm prevention order.
Mitigating, Roger Wilson said: “He is a son and a father – his mother father and best friend are here again in court for him today. They are very supportive of him – they don’t condone what he has done, but they love him and they are here for him.
“He was a professional businessman, he had a good company that was turning over £100,000 per annum – he was a well-respected member of a small community on the outside, but on the inside he was struggling from around the time of his marriage break down.
“He describes his actions as an addiction – he couldn’t stop himself. He even said he was relieved when he was arrested.
“Whilst in custody he has been a model prisoner, and he is determined to do his prison sentence and follow the courses to get him the help he needs.
“He has lost the respect of the village and brought shame on his family – he has huge bridges to build, but he knows he has no one to blame but himself.”
- This story first appeared in the Derby Telegraph.